Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida
Pereira de Almeida was born in
Luanda, Angola, and grew up in Lisbon. She has a PhD in literary theory from
the University of Lisbon. Her stories and essays have appeared in Granta.com, Words Without Borders, Granta Portugal, Observador, Somos Libros, Ler, serrote,
Thoughtfully observed and calmly experimental. . . . A compelling portrait of [Mila’s] quest to define her identity on her own.
This is a story of colonialism, feminism, racism, love and expression. But most of all, it is a story of identity. . . . That Hair may not offer the most linear storytelling—and in fact, every digression is dense with meaning and tangents—but what emerges is a surprisingly beautiful feeling of connection and rootedness.
With themes of colonial inheritance, memory, family, identity, and changing society, That Hair is a short but punchy read filled with gorgeous prose and expertly rendered metaphor, a stirring and lyrical read.
The reader is pulled along throughout by a sly, evasive humor—where unreliable memory ends, Almeida seems to say, storytelling begins. Heady and smart.
This compact book is a marvel. Djaimilia has written a story that is wry and gentle, profound and deeply moving. That Hair asks, and offers in generous sweeps, what it means to exist in the world as we are.
—Maaza Mengiste, author of The Shadow King
In That Hair, Djaimilia Pereira de Almeida’s wrily ironic and slyly beautiful new novel, translated with grace and nuance by Eric M. B. Becker, the author offers us a ‘philosophy of hair,’ a Black woman immigrant’s hair, based on her ‘private drama.’ In so doing, she creates a compelling post-colonial feminist and critically raced poetics of the self, and of being and becoming in contemporary Portugal and the West.
—John Keene, author of Counternarratives